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Bringing a touch of ‘Grandma’s house’ to on-set food service

Photo by Daniel Delgado

John Howington prides himself on bringing Southern hospitality to film and TV productions where he provides craft services – meals and snacks to cast and crew.

“I try to operate my department like it’s my Grandmother’s house,” he says about the food his DYE Crafty provides for up to 150 people. “What can I do to make their day better? If I can make them happy, we try to do it, no matter who they are.”

Howington was raised in Covington, where his company Dry Your Eyes Inc. operates a commercial kitchen. He and his business partner Joshua Swaney grew up there, and started the company in 2018 to sell hot sauce. “Working in film is a great job that pays well. We were able to use our income from film to follow our dreams, and it’s been working out well for us.”

He usually has a crew of four to eight people working on projects.

So far, he’s worked on “Heels,” “Ozark,” “Survivor’s Remorse” and “The Red Road,” a series starring Jason Momoa, among others.

Howington started as a camera production assistant on “The Walking Dead” about a decade ago, but quickly realized it wasn’t his calling.

He found instead that he enjoyed making things and taking care of his crew, and before long, he made the switch.

“I realized the importance of craft services,” he says. “Its purpose is to make people’s day a little bit better. So we try to give them something that will do that.”

DYE also provides catering for non-industry events, but “the movie business is our bread and butter,” Howington says. He tries to cook all the food in-house to provide fresh ingredients and quality control. He shares the wealth with other local businesses that provide supplies to DYE.

He has worked on sets outside of Georgia but doesn’t want to go anywhere else again.

“We have a kind group here … the vibes and the people,” says John. “I’m basing my financial moves on this lasting, and we’re praying that it’s going to continue forever with the tax incentives. I don’t want to have to move my family to another state.”

Besides, what would people from California do without his special touch?

“We treat everybody like they’re the producer,” he says. “Comfort food is a real thing, and on a hard, long day, not everybody wants a salad. They want some chili, chicken soup, or our famous candied smoked bacon.”

Grandma would agree.



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